Monday, December 27, 2010

Best Advice for the New Year

By Julie Daines

The year 2010 is almost over.  Now is the time for taking stock of our accomplishments and preparing for the year to come.  New year's resolutions and all that.

Maybe we can help each other out here.  What is the best advice you received this year?  What chestnut of knowledge can you pass on to the rest of us?  What great truth about writing did you learn?  What was that one epiphany that changed your writing for the better?

It doesn't have to be profound, just a tidbit of wisdom that might help us improve our craft.  Everyone approaches writing differently, so what works for some may not work for others.  But we can still learn from each other.  It's easier than learning the hard way....

Here's something I got from local author Rachel Nunes:  "If you want to be a better writer, read better books."  Sounds obvious, I know.  But there's a lot of trash out there in the young adult genre.  And there's a lot of really great writing too.  Read the great stuff to elevate your own writing level.

Leave a comment with your piece of advice.


Taffy said...

I've found myself way more picky about my reading time!

My advice? Get a critique group! Seriously, it is a great way to have your work edited/proofed/loved. Plus the support you and your work get is priceless.

Paul West said...

I'll second the idea of having a critique group. I thought my current WIP was pretty good when I first submitted it to my crit group, but found out quickly how wrong I was - am still am.

Scott said...

Julie and Taffy stole my top two. So here's another one. No matter how good you are, books about writing can help. I'd especially recommend books about structure, such as "Plot & Structure" by James Scott Bell, "Make a Scene" by Jordan E. Rosenfeld, "Novelists's Essential Guide to Crafting Scenes" by Raymond Obstfeld, and "Scene and Structure" by Jack Bickham.

Understanding how to craft a scene and make it part of a larger plot makes a huge difference to any story. I thought I knew it instinctively, but I didn't.